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About VgrG (TssI of T6SS)

The type VI secretion system (T6SS) is a molecular device that propels its "spike complex" through a target cell membranes in order to deliver effector proteins. As a central component of the spike complex, the VgrG proteins interact with their cognate effectors with the aid of adaptors and co-effectors. Previous studies have revealed that T6SS adaptor and co-effector proteins are usually encoded between vgrG genes and the cognate effectors. This genetic organization may influence interactions among the adaptors/co-effectors, the VgrG proteins and the effectors. The adaptor/co-effector proteins specifically interact with the other two proteins and allow the VgrG-effector complex be attached to the contractile tail mechanism, which is indispensable for the final effector secretion. Therefore, as the central component of the spike complex, VgrG is a good marker to explore potential adaptors and co-effectors.

About the dbVgrG database

Based on the analyses of postive and negative control sets, we developed a comprehensive bioinformatic approach to screen for VgrG proteins within a set of 133,722 publicly available bacterial genomes available from GenBank.

VgrG identification pipeline

Using this approach, a total of 130,825 VgrG proteins were successfully identified from 45,041 Gram-negative bacterial genomes. In order to facilitate future studies on the VgrG proteins as well as VgrG-related adaptors, co-effectors or effectors we constructed this publicly accessible online dbVgrG database. To provide users necessary genomic context information of the identified VgrG proteins, we further included the coding genes within the upstream 10 kbp and downstream 10 kbp region (if exists) of each VgrG locus.

The database was produced from a collaborative project of


Caihong Wang, Mingxing Chen, Yuhan Shao, Mengyuan Jiang, Quanjie Li, Lihong Chen, Yun Wu, Shan Cen, Nicholas R. Waterfield, Jian Yang, Guowei Yang, 2023. Genome wide analysis revealed conserved domains involved in the effector discrimination of bacterial type VI secretion system. Commun Biol. 6(1):1195.

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